The next day, after completing the current inspection with a drone,
I squinted at the morning sun.
“I never thought I’d see the sunrise at this mountaintop.”
Since then, we’ve stayed here without descending the mountain. It’s a completely different outcome from our original plan. But at least we’re still alive.
In reality, we should have already escaped the mountain and be on our way back home by now…
Below the middle of the mountain, villagers were evenly distributed. It was reckless to flee with a weakened Jinguichi who hadn’t fully recovered, but we had concluded that it was better than being caught without a fight and had steeled ourselves for it.
We had waited for the sun to set to face the still-uncoordinated zombie-like creatures, thinking it would be better to fight them then. However, an unexpected accident occurred.
Jinguichi, who had reached the peak of fatigue and tension, collapsed with a high fever.
Abandoning him after coming to help was not an option, but it was also impossible to carry him while avoiding being found by the creatures.
Therefore, we had no choice but to stay overnight at the mountaintop, hoping that we wouldn’t be discovered.
We spent the night whispering in the moonlight with the lights off.
Spending a night at the mountaintop while creatures resembling zombies were around was an experience that couldn’t even compare to horror movies. The feeling of anxiety and fear that ate away at our minds was something that we would never forget.
We took turns keeping watch and being on high alert, fearing an attack. However, contrary to our expectations, no one visited the mountaintop during the night.
“Senior, how are you feeling?”
Jinguichi sat up on the bench and stretched his arms out wide.
“I had a lot of nightmares, but I didn’t wake up until morning.”
“Ah, thanks to you, I’m feeling much better now. I’m sorry for the trouble, Sakurazaka-kun.”
“Don’t worry, we help each other out when we’re in trouble.”
The three of us ate some emergency rations and made sure to drink enough water.
“Senior, are you able to move?” I asked.
“I’m not at 100%, but I can walk normally,” Jinguichi replied.
If he had recovered enough to walk without needing support, that was a good sign. It would make it easier for us to plan our escape.
“But why didn’t they attack us during the night?” I wondered out loud.
“Yeah, it was the perfect opportunity,” the others agreed.
I couldn’t help but agree. Three people stuck on a mountain with nowhere to run, and one of them was injured and slowing us down. If I were one of the villagers, I would have definitely tried to end it last night or early in the morning.
“Huh, the group that was on the middle of the mountain seems to be gone… I’ll check towards the bottom.”
Indeed, there were no human figures on the hiking trail shown on the screen of the drone.
As the drone flew closer to the base, there was a significant difference from what we had seen before.
First of all, the truck with the bulging cargo area was gone. Even if they had released the zombie-like creatures inside, the truck should have been necessary for their recovery.
“What happened? Why did they retreat with the zombie-like creatures?”
Even when the person disguised as a police officer was nearby, they parked there without a care.
If they were with their allies, they shouldn’t have had to worry about being seen and could have left the truck there.
“Something must have happened, right? Did they get into a fight or something?”
Looking at the smartphone screen, dozens of people are divided into two groups, staring at each other and seemingly arguing about something.
One group is the villagers they saw yesterday, but the other group is unfamiliar to them.
At first, they thought it might be additional members, but there are many young people compared to the villagers, and there are quite a few women with fashionable clothing.
It seems out of place for such a rural village.
“They don’t really look like the villagers around here. Can you pick up any sounds, Hinoyama-san?” “The recording function is also built-in, but if we get any closer, they might get suspicious.”
I can’t hear anything, so I have to rely on the actions and atmosphere of the scene to figure out what’s going on.
On the side of the villagers, they look troubled and clearly shaken.
On the other hand, the other person seems angry and is pressing the villagers.
There are even people taking pictures and videos with their smartphones and cameras.
Hmm? That person at the front who seems so worked up, I feel like I’ve seen them somewhere before…”
“Can you zoom in on the person at the front, Hino-san?”
“Sure, this is the person, right?”
With the video now zoomed in, they were able to identify the person in question.
They were a chubby person wearing a knit cap, with thin eyes and a button nose. They had on a long-sleeved shirt with a large logo on it, and we recognized that logo.
“That’s a shirt with an original logo made by DIY for fans,” I said.
To me, it looks like a scribble, but that’s the designer’s intention of combining “DIY” and “A” to create a fashionable design.
The person at the forefront is undoubtedly a passionate fan of DIYA.
During a live stream, whenever I chatted with DIYA, there was a listener who would interrupt and bother me.
Once, I met that listener at a fan meeting with DIY, and I posted pictures and videos of that encounter.
Their body shape and distinctive face matched perfectly.
Upon observation, it was found that other people also owned shirts and accessories with the logo on them.
However, it was not limited to just that. There were people who owned shirts and keychains printed with anime idol characters.
In terms of numbers, there were more people with shirts and accessories with anime characters than with the logo of Diya.